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Without iPhone, Android won't be using capacitive touch screen?

The first generation Apple iPhone was a big change in mobile industry, everyone knows that iPhone was the first device that allow users to touch the screen by using your finger instead of a touch pen. Google acquired an existing Android project in 2005, which was essentially an offshoot of Danger, the Java platform powering T-Mobile's SideKick slider phone. Both Danger and Android were founded by former Apple employee Andy Rubin.

Back to 2006, version 0.91 of the Google's project definition for Android, completed July 6, 2006, was not an open document. It is labeled "Google Proprietary" and "Highly Confidential." The document reveals that Android will only support a keypad with the following keys: Numeric, Star, Pound, Send, End, Home Back, 2 Soft Keys, 5-way navigation (up down left right select)."

The physical keyboard is identical to Windows Mobile phones, Google also noted that "touch screens will not be supported. The product was designed with the presence of discrete physical buttons as an assumption. However, there is nothing fundamental in the Product's architecture that prevents the support of touchscreens in the future."

Google planned to use the same reference designs for Windows Mobile Smartphone hardware and install Android as Sun's Java Mobile running on Linux. The 2006 definition flatly specifies "the Platform will be compatible with Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME)."

In 2007, Steve Jobs has announced the first generation iPhone, he noted that Apple had been working on the product for two and half years, or about six months prior to Google's acquisition of the Android team (which already had a Java based product on the drawing board).

The announcement of first generation Apple iPhone has brought the mobile industry to another new level. Meanwhile, when this news reached to the Android development team, they were shock and this means that they need to start over the Android project instead of announcing the first Android device with hardware QWERTY keyboard.

Android's founder Rubin was similarly quoted as responding, "Holy crap, I guess we're not going to ship that phone," a reference to the BlackBerry-like Android phone prototype Google was gearing up to release. Instead, the company had to return to the drawing board and develop a new device with Windows Mobile hardware developer HTC, which became the HTC Dream, also branded as T-Mobile G1.

Google has start over the Android project in November 2007, the project has dropped the Sun Java plan and developed a new Java runtime, which is Dalvik. The first Android device HTC Dream a.k.a T-Mobile G1 was announced in April 2008.

Without Steve Jobs with his Apple iPhone, can you imagine we might still using a keypad phone without much features?


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